Japan sent a strong warning to their football competitors in Tokyo 2020 after beating Ghana U-24 Men 6-0 in International friendly on Saturday evening in the Japanese capital.
Thanks to Real Madrid star Takefusa Kubo who inspired Japan with a goal, assist and eye catching performance to thrash Black Meteors as Ghana’s newly assembled team failed to impress in their first ever assignment.
After a considerable period of preparations, Japan invited the Black Meteors to a friendly but tough game in Tokyo. Japan have African giants South Africa in their Group A along with France and Mexico.
The Ghana Football Association has assembled a new Meteors team for their friendlies against South Korea and Japan ahead of 2023 Africa Games that will be hosted by Ghana with majority of the U-20 side that won African Youth Championship in Mauritania promoted to Fabin’s new side.
Preparing against South Africa- a side that prevented Black Meteors from appearing in Tokyo 2020 Olympics after beating them to a third place in Egypt last March- Ghana was the next opponents in Japan’s pipeline on Saturday night in Tokyo.
There was a big blow for Ghana as their leading top scorer from the Ghana Premier League Diawusie Tyalor ruled out of the clash after testing positive for covid-19.
After a strong start, the Asians took an early lead, not in a surprise way, having appeared the better side throughout the game.
Kubo broke down on the right edge of the box and fired a shot at goal but Ghana goalkeeper William Essu failed to completely deal with the situation. The ball directed to unrushing Japan’s no.10 Doan Ritsu who scored from a half volley.
Japan finally got what they had been looking for after 16’ minutes into the game and never rested as they continued, with nice build ups, to pile the pressure on Ghana.
Impressive Japan should have doubled their lead few minutes later but Tanaka was unlucky when his powerful shot inside the box hit the cross bar.
The output of the two teams tells where both teams are coming from and where they want to get to. While Ghana is in the building phase to 2023 African Games, Japan already have a sweet team to compete in the upcoming Olympic Games football.
Their second goal was an evidence of it all after a wonderful team play finally saw Real Madrid star but on loan at Gatefe Kubo curled to the left roof of the net.
Meda was played through at the right edge, the Japanese turned and slide a pass to Kubo who calmly shot to make it 2-0 on 32’ minute.
Shito nearly found his name on the score sheet but was denied a goal but the woodwork after his curler sided against the right post.
As Japan fly in Golden colours Ghana woes continue when Meteors even struggle to keep two passes at a time. Japan were tactically intelligent than Ghana which continue to yield goals for the Asian giants.
They broke once again on a sweet attack three minutes to end first half when the Bluess 19 shirted man leapfrogged Meteors defense line. Although, it was a nice suddenly run from the Japanese man on the right edge however that pass that got the no. 19 man through on goal was a first class.
The Japanese no.19 man intended to find his marker in front of goal after sliding a pass across Ghana’s goal area but Asinki sliding tackling clear the ball connected it rather into the net.
Three minutes after restart Japan scored their fourth goal after Soma Yuki latched on a perfect through ball from Kubo before the former fired below Essu. Japan were charged for the occasion and despite leading Meteors 4-0, they never relaxed and rested.
What was interesting about the Japanese were their energy level and passing ability even in the deepest time of the game which they should have showed signs of tiredness. They combined the two qualities to grab the fifth and sixth goals.
A beautiful build up saw a delight cross from left flank inside Ghana box but with all efforts to prevent conceding a fifth goal, Ueda Ayase was to fastest to get his head onto the ball which went straight into the net as the Asian led 5-0.
Ghanaian nearly got a consolation from the first ever best chance of the game when Samuel Gyabaah Obeng broke on counter. The Ghanaian striker drove to Japan’s box but his shot at goal was directed to a corner which resultantly went wasted.
Mitoma Kaora got Japan’s sixth goal- which was a beauty, stylish and stunner after a long period of arranging their passes back of Ghana’s box, they eventually opened Meteor’s defense with a final pass which found Mitomo, he beat one defense before slotting it into right corner.
Japan will play Ghana in the second game four days later today.
Ghana U-24 XI: William Essu, Frank Assinki, Uzair Alhassan, Samuel Abbey Ashie-Quaye, Ibrahim Imoro, Osman Bukari, Emmanuel Essiam, Jonah Attuquaye, Sabit Abdulai, Precious Boah, Samuel Obeng Gyabaah
Men’s Olympic Football Tournament full draw
Group A: Japan, South Africa, Mexico, France.
Group B: New Zealand, Korea Republic, Honduras, Romania.
Group C: Egypt, Spain, Argentina, Australia.
Group D: Brazil, Germany, Côte d’Ivoire, Saudi Arabia.